David Thorpe Photography

Professional Pix

Pictures for Money

This was Wings at Lympne Castle, shooting video for their 'Back To The Egg' album. I spent a bit of time with Linda here during the three day shoot and got on well with her. She's always got a a bit of a bum rap as spouses of superstars often do but she was pretty normal, really. Certainly not starry. I remember at one shoot which involved a lot of models and naturally enough they wanted to hang around McCartney and Linda looking distinctly unhappy with the whole thing. Natural enough.

She used to keep Paul in order sometimes. On one shoot, Paul was suggesting some shots to the director and Linda called over to him "Video director are we now, Paul?" "No, no", he said and looked a bit sheepish. No man is a hero to his wife!

Linda was choosing shots at the time for a Wings calendar for the fans. We had some of my stuff and some very good stuff from the photographer who'd worked for them before me. I believe Linda had got annoyed by something he kept doing, overstepping the mark a bit. As we went through the pix on her lightbox, I saw that many of the 60 trannies of his were more interesting than mine. He'd shot stuff over the course of a couple of weeks, I'd had a couple of days only. In the final calendar, I had twice as many pictures as him. As we went through the trannies, I was pointing out some nice stuff of his. "Don't like it", she'd say. I quickly cottoned on. She liked me and she had the hump with him. Therefore she preferred my pictures. I can take a hint.

Spending time with the McCartneys and their crew and manager you get to know a good few stories about them. There is no point in trying to flog these. You can't run with the hares and hunt with the hounds, it won't work in the long run. One day at a dinner party with friends, I'd told a few Paul and Linda stories. Nothing nasty or serious, just amusing in the 'aren't celebs strange" vein?

A couple of days later, I got a call from their publicist, Tony Brainsby, he was pretty angry. McCartney wanted to know where these stories had come from. It could only be me. My heart sunk. One of the people at the party had sold the stories to The Sun. It was my fault and I could only say I was sorry. Tony, bless him, believed I hadn't done it myself (I hadn't) and smoothed it out for me. Once he's read the riot act to me.

On a purely practical level, I was billing £350 per day for my services to MPL (McCartney Productions Ltd) plus all costs. The Sun diary would have paid about 70 quid for the diary stories. That's a pretty easy choice to make on financial grounds alone, let alone moral ones. No more dinner party gossip (about the McCartneys at least) for me.
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